Posts Tagged ‘Dafnoudi’

My best holidays

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

When thinking at the holidays I have experienced, I conclude that the ones I enjoyed at most were during a summer with my grandmother in the small village Dafnoudi (Δαφνούδι) as I was a small child, some time before visiting the school for the first time.

The village is located in the Serres prefecture of West Macedonia (Greece); it is built in the foot of mountains that limit the plain of Serres from the East side. My grandmother, who was a midwife, was working there at the late 70s, if I remember well.

It was a summer of freedom and discovery. I easily made some friends with whom I played every day. One of my friends was the son of our landlady, a very capable young man, whom I admired. Although we had a great age difference —at that time he was a teenager— we were friends and he introduced me to several exciting things. One day he had shown to me a huge storage space that they had; I remember lots of rusted old equipment, among them a huge magnet that once was a part of a big loudspeaker. I could not believe that so great magnets existed!… On an other day I saw his room in which he was trying to build a small radio station. He had taught me how to play chess and I remember that one evening, after loosing the game by him, I wondered if we could go on playing without the king and he did me the favour! It was a summer of freedom and kindness!

It is strange what a child remarks! I remember that when looking at our flat from outside, I could make out the border of a door on a plain wall (at the height of the 1st floor), that was filled out with bricks in the past. “Once there was a door up there”, I was thinking, “but how could it be reached, from outside?” or “where did it lead to, from inside?”

My grandmother never displeased me. We were visiting the small beautiful tavern of the village, she was giving me simple but exciting presents that stimulated my imagination (for example, two key chains whose fobs were miniatures of lamps), she helped me learn the times table with an amazing plastic board of combinations, she was measuring my hight at the door frame —and thus making me feel proud every week.

I liked very much the fact that the water was looking almost white because of the thousands tiny air bubbles in it and that we had a tiny kitchen integrated in the room where the beds were. The accessibility of every facility in the small flat created a universe, that was adapted to my small dimensions and thus, combined with the sensitivity and care of my grandmother, gave me a sweet safety feeling.

Grown up persons have not lost the need to get happy with simple things. They have just forgotten it, because they have learned to smooth their new experiences by measuring them according to their past ones. As children have no past experiences, it is their privilege to be able to live great pleasures triggered by simple events. How can we do this again while retaining all our memories?